Just nine weeks after Michigan-based eventer Susan Moessner was hospitalized due to injuries caused by a stallion attack, she was back in the saddle and won the preliminary division at Cobblestone Horse Trials (Mich.) July 25-27 with her own Satin Art.
After Moessner’s accident, which left her with broken bones and bite wounds, Ericka Treis Peterson began riding Satin Art for Moessner and was scheduled to ride him at Cobblestone. However, two weeks before the event, Peterson broke two bones in her hand in a training accident and was unable to compete.
Even though she wasn't supposed to be back riding, professional trainer Moessner had sat on one of her older mounts a few times and decided to give the event a try.
“He’s so good to ride,” Moessner said of Satin Art. “He’s so smooth; he doesn’t pull or lean or yank. Even a bad ride on that horse is a good ride. He’s just a joy.”
Moessner wanted to at least try the dressage phase and decide after that whether she would finish the horse trials.
“Even going cross-country, it was one jump at a time,” she said. “I was going slow, seeing how things felt. If at any point things didn’t feel right, [I would] pull up.”
While they finished the event at Cobblestone on top, their cross-country trip wasn’t the smoothest. “Artie” spooked at some geese that came onto the course and was wary of the man that’d come to shoo the geese away.
“I thought, ‘What is this? Everybody is out to get the gimp today?' ” Moessner said with a laugh.
As it turns out, the man that spooked Artie was none other than Delmar Jarvis, better known as “J.R.” J.R. was the man that stepped in to rescue Moessner during the stallion attack.
“So I told him, ‘First you save me, and now you’re trying to kill me!’ ” she said. “I said, ‘Make up your mind!’ ”
Even though she was able to complete the event, Moessner said that her recovery is a slow process. While a majority of the injuries have healed, she still struggles with heavy lifting. “It’s kind of ironic that here I can go out and I can ride an event, but I can’t close the hatch on my car because it’s hard for me to lift my arm and push or pull,” she said.